Today we did one of my favorite activities in the state, a helicopter trip around Kauai. Kauai is one of the most amazing places to do a helicopter ride on the planet. I think one of the reasons is because there is so much that you can see on Kauai from the vantage point of a helicopter that is simply impossible to view any other way.
The roads on Kauai do not make it all the way around the island. For the most part the highways are on the edges of the island near the ocean and there is very little infrastructure in the interior of the island. This leaves a 17 mile long stretch of coastline (known as the Napali Coast) on the north west side of the island inaccessible with a car. The only way to view this side of the island is to take a boat, hike a rigorous 11 mile trail, or take an air tour.
I checked in at the Safari Helicopters Office in the middle of Lihue Town. It had been raining in Lihue for most of the morning so I had a pretty good feeling that it would be a good day to see some waterfalls. As soon as the rest of the passengers showed up we watched a quick safety video, then boarded a van to go meet our helicopter.
As soon as we got to the helipad the Safari Helicopters aircraft came in for a landing and the passengers from the previous tour got off. The smiles that stretched across their faces were evidence of what we were about to experience. Each one of them had ear to ear smiles, and one of them even told me:
As they passed. Within a few minutes the attendant had us boarded onto the helicopter, seated, and properly strapped into our safety harnesses. As soon as we were all in and ready the captain eased back on the control stick and we were off.
We began our flight by passing through the valley that leads from Lihue towards Kalaheo. We skirted the ridge that stood between our position and the famous Kipu Kai Beach. As we passed over the land the pilot explained what we were passing over, he also told some stories to help illustrate the history of what we were seeing underneath us.
After we passed the Hanapepe Valley the Waimea Canyon came into view. This geologic feature is impressive to say the least. The colors, scale, depth and sheer size of this canyon make it one of the most impressive sights in all of the Hawaiian Islands. While this site is viewable from the road, you can only see one side of it. From the air, we could see the other side, as well as all the tributary canyons that lead into the Waimea Canyon.
After passing the Waimea Canyon we finally made it to what many consider the highlight of the tour, the Napali Coast. This stretch of coast is hidden from the view of most visitors and to be able to see it from the air was spectacular. We roamed up into most of the large valleys that line the coast before we continued north towards Hanalei Bay.
Once we got to Ke'e Beach the beaches of the north shore came into view. Between Ke'e and Hanalei Bay we passed over many beaches and Taro fields. Once we got to Hanalei Bay we made our way up the valley towards the center of the island where we journeyed to the "keyhole" of the island.
At the back of the most central valley of Kauai exists a place known as the "keyhole" this is because it was created from the neck of the largest volcano that existed on the island, that blew out on one side creating a massive natural amp theater with walls stretching thousands of feet into the sky. This area collects more rainfall each year then anywhere else on the planet which has given it the reputation of being the "wettest spot on the planet". Seeing this area was the last highlight we saw before we made our way across the highlands of Lihue back towards the helipad. As we landed I looked around, and all of the other passengers had the same sized grins as I saw on the faces of the members of the previous group.
When I woke up this morning and looked out the window, I couldn't help but smile when I saw that it was an absolutely classic sunny Hawaiian day outside.
Before we even got to the ranch I knew that we were in for a special experience. The ride that we had scheduled for the day was at Silver Falls Ranch, which is located deep in the jungle, on the north side of Kauai.
Today we did something very unique, that I have never done before in the Hawaiian Islands (or anywhere else for that matter). We went fishing for Peacock Bass.
Today we did something that I've wanted to do for a while, we went on the "Movie Tour" with Polynesian Adventure Tours. The movie tours' concept is simple, they have a TV screen in the bus that plays a movie they edited together.
Throughout my life I have had many opportunities to experience helicopter flights around Hawaii. I have been on helicopters on all of the major islands, so I feel that I can legitimately say that the flights on Kauai pack more into them then they do anywhere else in Hawaii.
This year my girlfriend Simone and I decided that we were going to celebrate Valentines days a little bit differently then we have in the past. We decided that we were going to go up to the North Shore of Kauai and try out the zipline at the Princeville Ranch.
Today I got to take my Mom to see something very special. In the 1400+ years that the Hawaiian Islands have been inhabited by humans, an amazingly rich culture has developed here.
Yesterday we took advantage of the flat summer ocean conditions on the North and West sides of Kauai and scheduled a trip up the Napali Coast with Captain Chris and the Napali Riders.
I remember for my 12th birthday, the only thing I wanted to do was get certified to go SCUBA Diving (12 is the minimum age you can be to get certified).
Helicopters are one of the most popular tours that we offer. Helicopter tours are available on all islands so if you want to see the Volcanos National Park, the waterfalls of and jungles Hana, Pearl Harbor, the famous surfing beaches of Oahu's North Shore of even the magestic Napali Coast of Kauai we can easily arrange a flight for you.
Experience this 100 mile extensive tour of central Kaua'i. Fly along Hoary Head Mountain Range into the Hanapepe Valley to circle the Manawaipuna Waterfall, commonly known as the Jurassic Park Waterfall.
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